Developer Interview: Overkill on ‘Payday 2′

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I was lucky enough to get an interview with David Goldfarb, Overkill‘s Game Director on PAYDAY 2Overkill Software (a Starbreeze Studio), they are bringing out a sequel to their intense co-operative first person shooter which has become something of a cult classic. So without further ado, let’s get this started.

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PS Nation: I loved the idea from the first game of the No Mercy DLC which was set in Left 4 Dead‘s very own Mercy Hospital before the outbreak, and saw the gang on a quest for some infected blood for some potential buyers on the outside. Will we see anything else like that again?

Overkill: We talk about a lot of crazy things in the office and we talk about a lot of crazy things with Valve. Exploring the margins of their universe and redefining our own gives us a ton of opportunities for gameplay and setting. We absolutely plan to work with them again and it’s something we want to go a lot further with this time.

PS Nation: Whenever a new game is announced for the PlayStation 3 one of the most asked questions is ‘Will there be a Vita version?’ So I may as well save everyone the trouble.

Overkill: No Vita at this time. Once we get out of development for the PS3 we will have to look at that again.

PS Nation: Everyone knows about the PlayStation 4 now, what do you think of Sony’s new system and will you be doing anything for it in the future?

Overkill: PS4 is amazing. It is a bigger shift than last time and I think that we, as a very flexible developer, will be able to crank tons of gameplay out of it. You saw us there on the PS4 announcement – smack in the middle.

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PS Nation: I received a brilliant response when I asked for community questions, I was going to pick a few good ones to ask but I couldn’t decide which to leave out, so I asked them all. Starting with Mike Ramond who asks ‘Will your AI teammates be able to complete objectives? Like grab the bag or tie the hostage?’

Overkill: We have moved to a fully cooperative game, so we will not have AI bot teammates as such. The player can heist on his own but will need to turn to other players for the extra muscle.

PS Nation: Jerry Dormetus from our Facebook group wonders if there ‘Is there a continuing narrative in PD2 from PD1?’

Overkill: It is hard to say that there is a continuing narrative in the conventional sense, since it is not a conventionally linear narrative, but the PAYDAY crew will make a return, older, grimmer, and hopefully wiser.

PS Nation: Will anything from the first game carry over in some way? Or as Connor Mackenzie @noobofdoom from twitter puts it.. ‘Will we get the original heists?’

Overkill: Can’t comment on this beyond saying, yes, there will be nods to the old game, absolutely.

PS Nation: I’ll finish off by asking some questions from Twitter starting with Joe White @Bulkoth, he asks ‘are weapons tied to the classes? Can I direct hostages? Still lots of hidden secrets?’

Overkill: Weapons are not tied to player professions with the exception of the saw. Some profession skills will definitely make you more effective with a subclass of weapon, however.

We have definitely spent a lot of effort fixing civilian response to player intimidation – zip tying, and just civilian behavior in general. They might try to make a phone call to the cops when you aren’t looking, or run out the door, they will dive to the ground when there’s gunfire, etc. So in general we are trying to make the world more believable.

Secret? What secret?

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PS Nation: Another Twitter question from NKyT, I don’t think that’s their real name a.k.a @GamerMcbaggin wonders  ‘How much will the game cost and’ more importantly  ‘will there be a beta for anyone who pre-orders?’

Overkill: We are still discussing price point and beta/preorder.

PS Nation: SargentJones with the Twitter handle @SargentJones asks ‘how much does community feedback from PAYDAY 1 affect the decisions you make when you’re developing PAYDAY 2?’

Overkill: We have been on the forums since day 1. Most of the DLC ideas came from there and all our updates were developed thanks to the feedback from our community. We have been siphoning the forum for PAYDAY 2 ideas for over a year now. It will be cool for fans to see their suggestions integrated in the game.

PS Nation: The scary sounding Darknigthmare, @Darknigthmare1 asks the final question, and it’s if there is a ‘reward for players of the first game?’

Overkill: Yes sir :)

PS Nation: A big thank you from everyone at PSNation.com we look forward to playing Payday 2.

It seems like Overkill Software have learnt a lot about what worked from the first game. With skill trees to hone your character into a unique badass and levels with dynamic elements to make every playthrough different. Payday 2 is shaping up to be something very special indeed. Now if you don’t mind I’m going to go and watch Heat and wait until later this year when this game finally comes out.

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